Picaboo Photo Calendar Review: Fun Software, Good (But Not Great) Calendar

Picaboo’s calendar software is great fun to use, because nothing in the interface interfered with or bogged down our creativity, and it had the best and most convenient photo-editing tools. Unfortunately, our Picaboo printed calendar didn’t quite live up to the software’s level of excellence.

Creating Your Calendar

Picaboo’s calendar software is well-organized, intuitive and fun to use, though not as comprehensive or full-featured as Mixbook’s software. For instance, Picaboo’s collection of attractive calendar templates is smaller than Mixbook’s, and it lacks clip art for calendars. However, like with Mixbook, the templates were fully editable, so that we could change, remove and rotate all elements. In addition, text and photos were easy to add anywhere on the photo page.

Picaboo’s excellent large, searchable library of very attractive backgrounds includes photo-realistic images as well as illustrations. However, we could apply the backgrounds only onto a photo page; the calendar grid remained white.

Picaboo had the best photo-editing controls among all the calendar software we tested. It’s conveniently organized on a single sidebar tab. These included sliders for brightness, contrast, saturation and opacity, along with buttons to apply black-and-white or sepia filters or red-eye correction.

Picaboo was the only vendor other than Mixbook to offer cutout shapes. Plus, Picaboo’s Corners (which included novelty shapes as well as traditional photo-album-type corners) were unique among the calendar services we tested. We had complete control over photo-border definition, both its thickness and color. On the other hand, Picaboo’s drop shadow is only an on/off option with none of Mixbook’s control over the color, opacity, distance or spread.

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The text tool worked interactively on the page, so we could see exactly what text would look like as we typed and edited. We dragged and dropped photos directly onto calendar dates, then clicked on them to use a larger preview window to add text. Picaboo had the option to save all such events for future calendars.

The Printed Calendar

Our Picaboo printed calendar was pleasant but didn’t excel on the same level as the software. The smooth, appealing paper stock had a nice weight, similar to Amazon’s and Snapfish’s, though not as good as the weight and feel of products from Apple, Shutterfly or Mixbook.

Overall, the photos weren’t well-balanced. The cover picture had OK color with an appealing red shift, but it was flat, with no highlights and noticeable noise in the shadows. The inside pictures were generally bright, and some had nice color. But others were quite washed out, and none were great or really good.

Price & Options

Our 11 x 9-inch Picaboo 12-month calendar cost $24.99 (the same price for similar sizes from Shutterfly and Mixbook). An 11 x 14-inch 12-month calendar ($39.99) was the only other calendar available.

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Picaboo’s other photo products include books, cards, phone and tablet cases, photo panels, school yearbooks, prints, and posters.

Bottom Line

Creating and ordering a calendar through Picaboo was very tempting, because the software made it easy and fun to design a nice product. However, Mixbook’s software did an even better job, with more tools, functionality and content. And both Shutterfly and Mixbook produced far better printed calendars for the same price as Picaboo. So, while Picaboo is a good option for calendars, it’s not the best.

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